Have you ever experienced a long-haul flight? No? Are you about to? In case you’re about to find out what it’s like to spend 10+ hours in a plane, if you were going from US’s East Coast to New Zealand for example, you should be properly prepared so that you can deal with the flight without too much stress or discomfort. Unless you’re willing to pay for the First Class pampering, the following tips and essentials will make a world of difference for you.
1. Book your ticket earlier than later
Sometimes we can’t possibly know when we’re going to travel, but if you have your flight planned in advance, try to book the tickets as soon as possible. You may not have the options of the last-minute offers and deals, but an early ticket should still be a bit more affordable than a regular ticket bought just before the flight. Not to mention that booking early means you’ll get to choose your seat, which is essential for long-haul flights.
2. Always opt for comfortable clothing
Even if you‘re used to wearing tight jeans, spending 10+ hours in a rather compressed position can cause huge discomfort. Not only will you have to endure pain, but you probably won’t be able to sleep either. Regardless of whether you’re going to Australia, New Zealand or somewhere colder, it’s always best to dress in loose-fitting and comfortable layers that you can adjust as necessary according to the temperature in the cabin and the weather waiting for you once you get to the airport. A scarf could come in handy as well, as an accessory, as well as an extra pillow and a small blanket.
3. Some items are best to be invested in
Passengers on long-haul flights usually get their own package of essentials that includes a travel pillow, earplugs and a sleep mask. This is definitely a nice gesture, but the truth is that most of the time, these items won’t work as well as you’d hope them to. Therefore, it’s always better to invest in your own travel pillow that supports your neck properly, a good-quality sleep mask, as well as effective earplugs that fit your ears. Furthermore, do the same for your headphones. Namely, it’s always better to bring your own headphones that cancel the noise properly and work for you than having to deal with provided universal size ones that are probably already worn and lacking.
4. Ensure a smooth arrival
Imagine spending hours on your flight to New Zealand for example, only to have to deal with finding the ride once you get to the airport. Sometimes you’ll have to call for a driving service before you even pack your bags to secure a ride from the airport. In other cases, some airports will have an immediate counter to provide you with the car and/or driver as soon as you land. In that respect, you can get a car rental at Auckland airport by going straight to the counter to talk to the staff in order to get your vehicle and be on your merry way as soon as possible. Always make sure to check for this service at your destination airport.
5. Bring snacks and water
Some of the carry-on essentials that will make your life easier during the long-haul flight are undoubtedly water and the snacks you love. Due to the length of the flight, you’ll probably get two full-course meals and maybe even a light meal in between. But, this may not always be the case or you could simply find yourself hungry when there are no flight attendants around. This is where snacks can really help, and especially the savory ones. With a water bottle in your bag, too, you won’t have to worry about enduring a hungry tummy.
6. Moisturize your skin
Flights can be very problematic for your skin as it can get dry pretty quickly and your lips chapped. Of course, different skin types will react differently, but dryness is rather common occurrence mid-air. This is why it’s a smart decision to keep your rich and hydrating cream/moisturizer in your carry-on together with your chapstick. That way, you can properly protect your skin from dryness and patchiness. And, for all the ladies out there, if possible, try to avoid wearing any makeup as this combined with dry air can only cause skin irritations.
7. Get up and stretch every once in a while
Due to the lower amount of oxygen, yet higher air pressure in the cabins, your limbs can really take a toll during the long-haul flight, especially if you don’t take the time to get up and stretch. This is essential to improve your blood flow and prevent swelling, headaches, and dehydration. You can walk for a bit and even do some light exercises that the setting allows.
In case you believe you’ll need a personal item together with your carry-on, always go for light bags that can be easily folded and tucked away somewhere. That way, you won’t have to sacrifice the legroom in front of your seat or keep it on the lap for the entirety of the flight.
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